(WSVN) - A man who has spent his whole life around dogs was forced to have all four of his limbs amputated after he likely contracted an infection from dog saliva.
According to Fox 6 Now, 48-year-old Greg Manteufel ended up in the emergency room with what he thought was the flu.
“It hit him with a vengeance,” Dawn Manteufel, his wife, told the station. “Just bruising all over him. Looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat.”
However, after doctors conducted several tests, they discovered Manteufel had actually picked up a infection from the bacteria capnocytophaga, which is commonly found in dog and cat saliva. One study published in the National Institutes of Health found the bacteria present in 69 percent of dogs and 54 percent of cats.
Doctors believe he most likely contracted the bacteria by a lick from his own dog.
“This type of bacteria comes from the saliva of dogs. This infection in his blood triggered a very severe response on his body,” Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, infectious disease specialist with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin told Fox 6 Now.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s rare but possible for capnocytophaga to cause severe infections in people with weakened immune systems, and is spread through bites or close contact with infected dogs or cats.
“Most people who have contact with a dog or cat do not become sick,” the CDC’s website states. “People… who have difficulty fighting off infections (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater risk of becoming ill.”
The infection caused Manteufel’s blood pressure to drop and circulation to his limbs decreased.
“Sometimes it decreases so much that the arms and legs just die,” Dr. Munoz-Price said.
Eventually the limbs started turning black and doctors had to amputate both legs and both arms.
However, the damage was not just limited to Manteufel’s limbs. According to a GoFundMe page set up for Manteufel, he will need nose repairs and and additional surgeries and medical care to recover.
Manteufel’s doctor says his case was a rare, unfortunate situation.
“More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue,” she said. “It’s just chance.”
To donate to Manteufel’s GoFundMe, click here.
Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.